Friday, February 08, 2008

The White Flag

With Fred and Mitt gone from the race it is time to raise the white flag. Conservatives no longer have a standard bearer in this race and will now have to settle for "influence". McCain's speech at CPAC yesterday made all of the appropriate gestures to conservative voters, so now it's time to move on. Confederate Yankee makes the case for supporting McCain which mirrors my own thinking on the subject though he doesn't to mention another critical element - Supreme Court nominees:

"I don't like John McCain, but I will vote for him. I won't stay home in protest. I won't write in another candidate, either. This election is too important for that.

The eventual Democratic nominee, whether it is inexperienced committed socialist Barack Obama, the most liberal voter in the Senate, or the woman of a thousand scandals, Hillary Clinton, who preemptively declared that any report of good news coming out of Iraq would be a lie, is unacceptable as President. Both promise higher taxes, a far more intrusive and meddling federal government, and defeat in the war against Islamic extremism. This is the actuality of the "change" they refuse to clarify in their vacuous campaign speeches.

Love him or hate him, McCain has something both Democratic candidates lack: meaningful experience. Obama has served less than one full term as a U.S. Senator, following just two full and one half-completed term as a state Senator. Clinton has completed one term in the U.S. Senate, and only a third of her second term. She has no prior national experience as an elected politician... unless you think being an acquiescent First Lady to the Philanderer-in-Chief counts. Frankly, that she lacks the self-respect to ditch a serial sex abuser such as William Jefferson Clinton says all about her character (or lack of it) that I need to know.

By comparison, McCain served two terms in the House of Representatives, and has been a U.S. Senator since 1986, and while I've often disagreed with his positions, he cannot be accused of being a weathervane politician.

So while I do not like John McCain, he is what we have left among the candidates that will attempt to work with both parties, who hasn't adopted a fringe ideology (or tried to hide it), and who has meaningful experience on the federal level, who did not take his seat in the Senate merely as a stepping stone to higher office. As purely a pragmatic calculation, he's the only candidate still running in either party that won't screw this country up too bad during his term.

During some elections, that may have to be enough.

This is hardly a ringing endorsement. It isn't supposed to be.

McCain for President. Or we're really screwed."

During the next four years conservatives will need to do some serious soul searching about how we ended up on the outside looking in. We will also need to do some grassroots re-building of the Republican Party if we intend to use it as a vehicle to further conservative principles and goals. One thing is certain - this state of affairs calls for a greater degree of commitment and organization. No matter what John McCain said at CPAC, continue to bear this in mind; the man is not a conservative and we shouldn't be surprised when he fails to act like one. We need to be ready to ride herd on Maverick because wandering is what he does best.

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